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Tell No Lies    by Gregg Hurwitz order for
Tell No Lies
by Gregg Hurwitz
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Gregg Hurwitz is one of my all time favorite thriller writers. He takes on tough issues and builds an intelligent mystery around them - for example, post traumatic stress disorder in his previous novel, The Survivor. He does it again in Tell No Lies, set in San Francisco, and featuring a seemingly unstoppable killer with a list of targets.

The lead, Daniel Brasher, was born to a wealthy, aristocratic family, but chose to reject that background, along with his mother's often harsh expectations of him. Now he works as a group counselor for recently paroled violent offenders, and is married to Cristina (whose name his mother chooses not to remember). Cristina works 'as a community organizer for non-profit tenants' societies', fighting 'the aggressive gentrification of the dot-com era.' Daniel loves her deeply, perhaps even more because he almost lost her to heart cancer.

Now, Daniel is about to switch to private practice - his current group will be his last one. We see them in session, getting to know them and their issues, and to feel for each and every one of them, just as Daniel does. Then, going through his work mail (often filled with others' messages) he finds a note: 'admit what youv done. or you will bleed for it. you hav til November 15 at midnite'. The message was addressed to a Jack Holley, who turns out to have been murdered on the specified date.

He calls the cops and gets Homicide Inspector Theresa Dooley, who caught the Holley case. Daniel finds two more threatening messages in his mail, one for that same evening. Daniel rushes to the address, only to find a dying woman, but the killer (whom cops label the Tearmaker) sees him. As the threat moves steadily closer to home, Daniel begins to believe that one of his group members is involved - but who? And why?

Hurwitz keeps his lead and readers in suspense as to the serial killer's motivation till late in the novel - and it's a shocker, as is the high octane, twisty ending. Gregg Hurwitz is at the top of his game in Tell No Lies; highly recommended.

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